Sleep apnea can be hard on you. It occurs when soft tissues in your throat or mouth collapse and block your airway, which can make it difficult to breath or even stop your breathing all together. Your body often realizes a problem is occuring and wakes you up so you can start breathing again, but this disrupts your sleep schedule and leaves you tired in the morning.
We offer a number of oral appliances that can help open up your airways at night for a better sleep, but they are other things you can try to reduce sleep apnea and get more sleep. You can try positional therapy if your sleep apnea is of a more mild variety, or at least you can consider it for a little extra help.
The main idea behind this therapy is to avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back is not necessarily the cause of sleep apnea, but it can make it worse as gravity can entice your soft palate and tongue to collapse into the airway. If you sleep on your side, you can shift the direction gravity pulls your tongue and soft palate. It may not cure your sleep apnea, but it can reduce it at least, which can help you get more of the rest you need.
Another way you can alter your position to reduce sleep apnea is to raise the head of your bed a bit so your own head is raised up. Raising it about four inches should be enough.
Positional therapy often involves a number of methods and devices that may help you avoid laying on your back when you are asleep and unaware of your movements. Our sleep dentist, Drs. Hedgecock and Kerr, can offer you more information on positional therapy and the various methods. You can contact them here at Refresh Dental in Bentonville, Arkansas, by calling 479-339-0081.